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Tips for Coronavirus Isolation - what to have at home before you get sick

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

As someone who is now healing from COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, this is a list of things to have on hand and tips that may be helpful to prepare yourself before you get sick. And, if you have already gone down this road, please add any tips you have in the comments!

· Acetaminophen – there is some evidence that Advil can exacerbate symptoms. No hard data, but I played it safe.

· Have a working thermometer. Remember that armpit temperature is more hygienic, but one degree lower than mouth temp.

· Have a written list of medications, allergies (including food), and other contributing medical factor (smoker, alcohol, etc.) in case you need to go to the ER.

· Pantry staples – rice, beans, grains, oats, spices, etc.

· A couple dozen eggs, if you eat them

· If you eat meat, freeze some in portions

· Get a few of you and your family’s favorite treats. Anything that makes you feel special and makes you smile.

· Cook now and freeze individual or family portion meals. When you are exhausted and going up the stairs leaves you winded, you will be grateful.

· Puzzles, easy to read books (maybe ones you have read before), coloring books or some other simple, creative pursuit. If your brain ends up feeling like mush and not working, like mine has, you might have trouble even focusing on movies you don’t know. Absorbing new information from books and magazines feels almost impossible.

· Write down the names and numbers of your emergency contacts and those people who are your support system. Especially if you live alone. If a symptom gets bad quickly, you don’t want to have to search on your phone for a number.

· Again, if you live alone, have several people who check in with you via call or text once a day. For safety and sanity.

· Be prepared to sit quietly. Again, many people experience extreme brain fog, severe aches and shortness of breath.

· Be honest with your employer as to how you are feeling. With many of us working from home, it is our tendency to think we just keep on working. You may not be able to at all, or your ability may be greatly decreased. Educate your employer for your own care and for those who will be ill after you.

· Be honest with your family as to how you are feeling. You might normally be super-parent, but this is not that time, and that’s ok. Allow your kids to understand and learn from this.

· Yes, toilet paper (for two weeks, not two years).

· Any prescriptions you and your family usually take. Some people with a propensity towards migraines or asthma have reported these ailments returning during the virus. If you have a history of them, have your meds on hand.

· Arrange with a couple of people that will be willing to drop off things you need. Probably veggies, or things you have forgotten. Accept this help with the love that it is given, knowing you will do the same for others once you are well. Please Venmo them the money, if you can.

· Be prepared to cook a lot and not necessarily have everything you normally have. Be creative!! Try a new recipe or make one up!! What a great opportunity to try new things.

· Pet food and supplies, if you have furry kids.

· Crafts and fun things for kids. There are many websites with ideas of how to keep them occupied and learning.

Quick note: while you should stock enough for a two week quarantine, you SHOULD NOT hoard. There will be grocery stores and groceries when you come out of isolation and you will be very glad to go to them.

And, please share this! The intent is to help people!

Also, if it would be easier to keep up with my daily coronavirus journal post via email, you can go to my blog and subscribe. In addition to this daily coronavirus journal, I send a once a week musing about leadership, business, finance and life.

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